BERLIN (JTA) – Germany’s branch of the BDS movement may have been forced to give up its bank account used for fundraising, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.
Jurgen Eikenbusch, spokesman for DAB Bank Munich, told JTA Thursday that he could not confirm that a decision had been made about the account of the BDS-Kampagne named in the Jerusalem Post article from Tuesday. But he said the bank took the information it received about the group “very seriously” and would take, “if necessary, the corresponding measures.”
In general, the bank can terminate accounts without explanation, giving a client 60 days’ notice. Accounts with proven illegal activity can be terminated more quickly.
German law does not bar anti-Israel campaigning unless it specifically calls for death to Jews or destruction of Israel.
But DAB is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas in France. In France, boycotting a nation or its citizens is a hate crime, and the country’s highest court recently upheld the conviction of anti-Israel boycott promoters on charges of inciting hate or discrimination.
According to the Jerusalem Post, last September, the Commerzbank in Germany closed a pro-BDS account connected to groups that call for Israel’s destruction. But the bank did not specify why it had closed the account.
The BDS-Kampagne’s website still lists its bank account at DAB.
A representative of the movement in Germany could not be reached by phone and did not respond to an email query.